'Coming along well': CYMS' Mortimer comeback on track after knee surgery
By NICK McGRATH
ORANGE CYMS will likely start the 2016 Group 10 season without gun lock Tim Mortimer.
A ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in Mortimer’s left knee resulted in the influential forward missing last year’s premiership-winning run that crescendoed with a memorable 14-10 win over Lithgow in the grand final at Wade Park.
The Group 10 and Western Rams representative suffered the grade two ACL tear, compounded by a fractured femur, against Mudgee Dragons in round 17 in August.
Mortimer said his recovery was on track, but April 10’s round one kick-off in Oberon could prove a long shot.
“The knee’s coming along well,” Mortimer said.
“From when I had the surgery they said it’s a six-month recovery even for professional athletes, so (by the start of the season) it will have been about seven months since I had the op I think.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure I’ll be back at the start of the season, but I will be back at some point.”
CYMS started pre-season training at the beginning of January in a bid to have a serious crack at the rich West Wyalong knockout at the end of February.
Mortimer won’t be part of that campaign but is back and running, which is a promising sign.
With a throng of quality players - including forwards Mitch Davis and Brendan Cousins - joining the defending premiers in a bid to claim back-to-back Group 10 premierships for the first time since 2010-11, Mortimer could find himself back in the halves alongside captain-coach Mick Sullivan this season.
Having played in a grand final with the number six on his back, it’s a move unlikely to concern the former Parramatta Eel.
At present, though, he’s just happy to be back running again.
“That’s why I had it done, I’m really keen to be able to play again this year,” he said.
“I’m back running on it a fair bit and there’s no pain there while I’m running at all.
“It gets a bit stiff and that sort of thing afterward, but it’s coming along really well.”